Spring Vaccinations Set Calves Up for Long-term Success

Focus on complete immunity for the calf; implement these calf vaccines this spring

It’s never too early to think about a calf’s respiratory health. The steps producers take this spring with young calves not only help protect them through grazing season, but can help prepare the calves for a more complete immune response with preweaning and weaning booster vaccinations.

“The goal for vaccinating calves in the spring is primarily geared toward limiting disease in the summer months, especially pneumonia when calves are on grass,” says Catherine Maguire, technical services veterinarian with Zoetis.

Maguire says it is key to protect calves against viral diseases that cause respiratory challenges like bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), infectious bovine respiratory (IBR) disease and parainfluenza 3 (PI3).

“Respiratory viruses are our primary concern. When we couple Inforce 3 with One Shot BVD, we achieve comprehensive viral protection, in addition to Mannheimia haemolytica protection,” Maguire says. “And that first dose of vaccine for Mannheimia really helps improve the response to the second dose at preweaning when bacterial pathogens are a bigger threat.”

Inforce 3 has the unique ability to stimulate a comprehensive local and systemic immune response in very young calves, even when antibodies from their dam’s colostrum are still active. This helps Inforce 3 be effective in a wide-ranging age of calves at branding and turnout.

Following springtime vaccination with an injectable modified-live combination vaccine, like Bovi-Shield Gold One Shot, at preweaning or weaning, provides an additive and synergistic immune response for calves prior to entry into feedlots.

Research at North Dakota State University demonstrated a significant (p=0.006) immune response to BRSV in calves given Inforce 3 at approximately 74 days of age, and again when boosted 153 days later with Bovi-Shield Gold One Shot.

Overall, spring calf vaccinations are the first step in giving calves a strong foundation to meet disease challenges in the future.

Visit BuildingHealthyHerds.com for more information on developing a comprehensive calf respiratory program, and more.

This content was originally provided by Zoetis, with minor additions included from Valley Vet Supply.

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